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Happy Bardacious Birthday!

Fireworks heartsToday is Shakespeare’s 449th birthday! If you missed last year’s Bardacious Birthday post on YA-spin adaptations of his plays, you can read it here.

This year I wanted to do a celebratory shout out for Shakespeare’s happy plays … the romantic comedies. Rom-coms, in the current vernacular

Shakespeare’s comedies are my favorites, shallow (but happily so) as that may be. Though I’m not alone, if you consider how long they’ve been hits … 400+ years!

When I was researching my post,ย Rom-Coms ~The Lighter Side of Love, I came across an article that claimed “Shakespeare was the first [author] to make rom-coms popular.” I don’t know if that’s true. But it sounds true, so I’m going to roll with it seeing how it’s his birthday and all.

The following is a list of Shakespeare’s comedies. I’m sure you’ve heard of at least a few, and maybe even seen a movie of one or two:

  • All’s Well That Ends WellMidsummer's Nigh Dream movie poster
  • As You Like It
  • The Comedy of Errors
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost
  • Measure for Measure
  • The Merchant of Venice
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Pericles, Prince of Tyre
  • The Taming of the Shrew
  • The Tempest
  • Twelfth Night
  • The Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • The Two Noble Kinsmen
  • The Winter’s Tale

Forsooth! Formulaic or Fantastic?

I may be a huge Shakespeare comedy fan, but there are some who insist his comedies are formulaic. That he even “borrowed” the formula and used it over, and over, and over again. Whatever.

I love Shakespeare’s comedies for what they are — witty and fun. In their time, they entertained nobility and the uneducated common folk. In the same theater. No small feat, breaching a target audience gap that wide.

How now! A 16 Play Mashup!

Shakespeare was a man of his time, and if he were alive today he’d embrace the humor and whimsy of our modern world.ย Enter the mashup. It’s popular in today’s music, why not plays? The following mashup of Shakespeare’s 16 comedies was contrived by none other than the raucously irreverent Reduced Shakespeare Company (RSC), creators of the Othello Rap

The Comedy of Two Well Measured Gentlemen Lost in the Merry Wives of Venice on a Midsummer’s-Twelfth Night in Winter; or Cymbeline Taming Pericles the Merchant in the Tempest of Love as Much as you like it for Nothing; or Four Weddings and a Transvestite

Trust me. You don’t want to miss the performance of the comedy mashup…

Reduced Shakespeare Company ~ 16 Comedies in 4 Minutes!